Wednesday, March 05, 2008

When My Own Words Fail Me...


I go quote-hunting. I am tired today. The demands of parenting as my daughter recovers from her surgery last week, as the youngest one finds herself jealous of the attention her sister is getting, trying to cope with the increased energy the dog has since Spring sprung, helping to soothe Bubba's worries about his new business, and resisting resentment at the fact that I can't just shut myself away and write are mounting. Just as I think I see an opening, sense a release coming, my father calls to say he is not doing well.


"When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool." Chinua Achebe


I had been hoping I could put this off a little longer. The girls and I had planned to spend Spring Break with him. They know his treatments have left him with no hair. They understand that he can't get down on the floor and wrestle with him anymore. My 'big girl' doesn't really understand why the poison they put into her grandfather was disguised as 'treatment.' The youngest just covers her ears and says, "I don't want to talk about it. Stop right now."

"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open." Dorothy Allison


I am cracked open. I was that egg that looks smooth and solid on the outside. Feels cool and firm to the touch. The instant the shell smacks into the rim of a bowl and your thumbs push through the white membrane to reveal the shiny, vulnerable interior, before sliding out of the shell - that is me now. Open, waiting. Unsure where this will end up. Fried? Scrambled? Folded in with flour and sugar and baked? Where do I go from here? What is the right thing to do? Do I have another conversation with my girls? Do I reschedule our trip? Move it up?

I don't think I'm really asking any of those questions, though. I don't really believe that this is about road trips or missing school. I think what I really want to know is: how do I do this? How do I watch my father die? How do I make sure he knows I love him? How do I hold on to him? How can I stand to know he is suffering?

6 comments:

Carrie Wilson Link said...

You tell him. Eye-to-eye. He will "know."

I love you, admire you, and "know" you can do it.

Anonymous said...

It always feels like an impossible task when faced with letting go. But if we honor the person's life with our own and remember that love is just another form of energy, that you never truly lose the person, they will always be with you inside, then sometimes it makes the loss a tiny bit easier. You are in my thoughts.

Mama 'N Me said...

Oh Kari. Dear friend.

My guess is that you do this one moment at a time. You do the best you can and accept that it won't always be pretty. You trust God. You trust your dad. You trust yourself.

And you know, deep in your bones, that you are surrounded by Light and Love, deep respect, and true caring.

CRB-H said...

My thoughts are with you as you go through this process. I lost my mother 2 years ago July. It is very hard but you will heal. Writing/blogging helped me a lot at that time to let it all out. Be strong.

Deb said...

You do with all the grace and courage and honesty that you do everything else. I am so sorry for your suffering and for your dad's. My heart is with Jerri's holding you in Light and Love, respect and caring.

Jess said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, but glad you are being open with your daughters about it. That is a gift, and you will all get through this.

Love to you.

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